Macy’s Is Bad, It’s Nationwide
By George Anderson
Goodbye Famous-Barr, Robinsons-May, Foley’s, Hecht’s and Kaufmann’s. It was nice knowing you Filene’s, Strawbridge’s, Meier & Frank and L.S. Ayres.
Federated Department Stores announced it will convert 330 stores it acquired from May Department Stores to the Macy’s banner. The move will give Macy’s 726 stores, making it the largest department store chain in the nation.
“Customers have told us they want the fashion and affordable luxury they find in Macy’s stores. We have strengthened the Macy’s brand with distinctive assortments, simplified pricing, an improved shopping experience and enhanced marketing. With this expanded geographic coverage, we now will be positioned to nationally advertise the Macy’s brand,” said Terry Lundgren, Federated’s chairman, president and chief executive officer in a released statement. “And with additional Macy’s stores, more customers than ever will benefit from our Macy’s Star Rewards customer loyalty program, gift cards that can be used across the country and a nationwide wedding registry.”
Kenneth Bernhardt, marketing department chairman of the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University, told USA Today the move by Federated to the Macy’s banner is not without risk. “They have to minimize vulnerability to losing the loyal May customer,” he said.
Federated’s Lundgren said the department store chain has taken consumer feelings into consideration. “We respect that May Company’s regional store names are deeply rooted in their communities, we appreciate the heritage and traditions associated with those names, and we expect to continue to play an important role in the communities where our customers live and work,” he said. “At the same time, we also have learned from our own experience converting Federated’s regional nameplates. Our customers tell us through research and from their behavior that what’s inside a store – the merchandise, the service, the people, the shopping environment – is what matters most. And this is where Macy’s excels.”
The fate of two other May banners, Lord & Taylor and Marshall Field’s, has not yet been determined. Mr. Lundgren told USA Today he wanted to learn more about the respective brands before making a decision.
Speaking of Lord & Taylor, he said, “I want to know more about their vision for that brand: Can it stand alone?”
As for Marshall Field’s, Mr. Lundgren said he was “trying to be very respectful” for the brand’s name and the loyalty that consumers have for the Chicago-based department store.
A Web site, www.KeepItFields.org, recently went online to help save the Marshall Field’s name.
Moderator’s Comment: What is your assessment of where Federated is going with its acquisition of the May Department Store businesses?
– George Anderson – Moderator
- Federated Announces Plan to Expand Macy’s
Brand in 2006; About 330 May Company Stores to Convert to Macy’s Nameplate Following Merger – Federated Department Stores/Business Wire
- Some famous store names to disappear – USA Today
- Battle to preserve Field’s name makes its way to the Internet – Chicago Sun-Times
- Save Marshall Field’s, KeepItFields.org – http://www.keepitfields.org/